By: Hans Themistode
After spending the past few months telling the public that Anthony Joshua would take on mandatory challenger, Oleksandr Usyk, fans patiently waited for an official fight date from promoter Eddie Hearn. Now, after finalizing the entirety of their deal, both the where and when have been revealed.
“Olympic Gold vs. Olympic Gold, Unified World Heavyweight Champion vs. Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion. This one has it all and I can’t wait to stage this huge event in front of over 60,000 at the stunning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25,” said Eddie Hearn.
Since nabbing every world title in the cruiserweight division, Usyk, 34, has bided his time for a shot at heavyweight gold. Once the Ukrainian achieved all of the goals he set out for himself in the cruiserweight division, he made the trek to the land of the big men in 2018. Although he was placed as the mandatory challenger, Usyk was still forced to wait.
First, the former unified cruiserweight champion stepped aside and allowed Joshua to have an immediate rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. From there, Usyk was forced to cede ground to then IBF mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev. With Joshua winning both contests, the Ukrainian was willing to wait once more, this time, in favor of a proposed undisputed showdown between Joshua and WBC/Ring Magazine titlist, Tyson Fury.
However, Usyk’s recent generosity wasn’t needed as negotiations between Joshua and Fury broke down. Now, with no one standing in line before him, Usyk pursued his long awaited showdown. Since making the move to heavyweight, Usyk has gotten his feet wet with a pair of fringe contenders in Chazz Witherspoon and Dereck Chisora, defeating them both.
With Joshua and Usyk claiming gold in the 2012 Olympics, heavyweight division for Usyk and super heavyweight for Joshua, the current unified titlist is anxious to step back into the limelight and test his skills against his fellow Olympian.
“The date is set and we are fully locked in,” said Joshua. “September 25, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown. We are two Olympic Gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges. The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric, I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe-inspiring venue. The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.”
Send this to a friend